24 Episode Recap: Day 8: 4 PM - 5 PM

Over the last couple seasons, 24 has acquired a reputation for getting a little soft and flabby in its midsection. But the long-running series never fails to deliver a taut, action-packed opener and closer, and the Season 8 premiere proves no exception.

We hit the ground running with an assassination attempt, a dead body in a bathtub and a bloody shootout. Who the players are, and what all that violence means, we'll find out soon enough.

As the day begins for Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), our favorite former CTU agent seems the happiest he's been in years: His damaged relationship with daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert) is finally healing, as are his wounds from that nasty Season 7 virus. And he's even taking his little granddaughter, Teri, on trips to the zoo.

The cherry on top: Jack has decided to accept Kim's offer to move back with her family to Los Angeles. Once there, he plans to take it easy, spending time with Teri, doing consulting work for a security firm and not even trying to save the world at all.

But we all know this tranquility can't last for long. While longtime fans understandably want to see Jack happy at last (this one included), it would make for a pretty dull 24 hours if it was all hugs and smiles and trips to the zoo. So, onto the gunfights and explosions...

Trouble comes knocking on Jack's door in the form of Victor Aruz (Benito Martinez), a former contact from the good old Salazar days. Seems Aruz the guy who had that sniper rifle trained on him in the opening scene wants to cut a deal because the people trying to kill Kamistan President Omar Hassan (Bollywood star Anil Kapoor) now want to kill him too.

Seems President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is wrapping up negotiations with Hassan on an agreement to withdraw troops from his (fictional) country. Apparently Iran ahem, Kamistan, has nuclear ambitions, but the question is whether their centrifuges are aimed at producing nuclear power or nuclear weapons.

Once the deal is informally made, we get a quick (and somewhat clunkily delivered) synopsis of what's been going on in Taylor's personal life. Long story short, things got pretty tense pretty publicly during her divorce from the first gentleman, Henry Taylor - mostly because she had their daughter, Olivia, sent to prison for that pesky little murder she ordered. The nerve!

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